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Ind vs Aus: Indian women do it in style. Can Dhoni & co. follow suit?

Rohan Raj | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:29 IST

After failing miserably in the enemy territory, MS Dhoni-led Team India will be eager to avenge their shambolic 1-4 ODI series loss when they take on the world champions Australia in the first of the three T20 Internationals at Adelaide on 26 January.

But as the men's game grabs all the spotlight, the Indian women's team notched up a crucial five-wicket win to take a 1-0 lead against Australia in the three-match T20 series, just couple of hours before the start of the more popular encounter scheduled today.

The Indian women didn't just upset the hosts in their own backyard, something Dhoni & co. have struggled with lately, but also recorded their highest-ever chase in T20 Internationals. The team improved upon their earlier record chase of 128/7 against New Zealand in 2015.

Put in to bat, Australia suffered an early blow with Jhulan Goswami dismissing Aussie opener Grace Harris for a golden duck. Soon, Shikha Pandey got the better of the Oz skipper Meg Lanning (12) with their team reeling at 17/2.

Debutante Beth Mooney (36) added 49 runs with Ellyse Perry (19) for the third wicket to steady the innings for the hosts. However, the two were dismissed in a quick succession and the hosts found themselves struggling at 81/5 in 18.4 overs.

But, just when India thought they could restrict the hosts under a total of 100 runs, Alyssa Healy's sensational 15-ball 41 changed the course of the game completely. She added 59 runs off the last 26 balls with Alex Blackwell (27*) to guide Australia to a competitive total of 140 runs.

In reply, India got off to a bad start losing their experienced skipper Mithali Raj (4) in the second over. Smriti Mandhana (29) and Veda Krishnamurthy (35) steadied India's chase with a 55-run stand for the second wicket. But, Australia fought back with three quick wickets - leaving India in a spot of bother at 91/4 in 14 overs.

With the equation boiling down to 50 runs off the last six overs, India's Harmanpreet Kaur (46) stepped up her game and played some exquisite shots to lead the chase for the visitors. Though she missed out on her fifty after getting caught behind the stumps in the 18th over, she had done enough for India to achieve the total with eight balls to spare.

Indian women have clearly set the tone for Dhoni's men who can take a leaf out of their performance as they gear up to lock horns with Australia today.

First published: 26 January 2016, 2:10 IST
 
Rohan Raj @ro4an_raj

After a poor stint in gully-cricket quashed his hopes of turning pro, Rohan moved away from the playing field and began criticising those who were still on it. Football eases his mind and watching City paint Manchester blue is his elusive dream. When not talking, thinking or dreaming about sports, Rohan can be found listening to EDM or watching movies. A sports correspondent at Catch News, he has previously worked with Hindustan Times, Daily Bhaskar and India Today.

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